Concern has been mounting that DC’s next cinematic outing, Joker wouldn’t be rated R come its release in October. After all, there are several recent examples of studios toning down source material to make it more appealing to a broad audience, even despite the wild success of Fox’s Logan and the Deadpool franchise.
The most prolific instances have to be last year’s Venom and DC’s own Suicide Squad. Each of those films was essentially begging for a more mature, R-rated version, but the final product for them both was something more akin to a hard PG-13. The movies ended up being quite commercially successful, but fans are still lamenting that they were held back by their rating.
But all the worry has been for naught, as Warner Bros. officially announced this week that Todd Phillips’ take on the classic Batman villain will be R-rated for “strong bloody violence, disturbing behavior, language, and brief sexual images.”
This has to be a consoling reveal fans of the character. While an R-rated version doesn’t guarantee success, it does point to the creators of the film taking it very seriously. They clearly want to do justice to the Joker, a character often defined by his viciousness.
In fact, the actor taking on the role of the Clown Prince of Crime, Joaquin Phoenix, recently opened up about his fear regarding portraying such an iconic comic figure and the pressure to get things right, saying:
There was a lot of fear, yeah. But I always say there’s motivating fear and debilitating fear. There’s the fear where you cannot make a f-cking step, and there’s the kind where it’s like, ‘OK, what do we do? That’s not good enough.’ And you’re digging deeper and deeper. I love that kind of fear. It guides us, makes us work harder.
The buzz around Joker has been steadily building and this announcement that the film has received the rating that fans were most hoping for will only stoke the fires further. If nothing else, this is just one more sign that DC and Warner Bros. are likely going to have another hit on their hands come the fourth of October.